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Monday, March 6, 2017
A new offering from Massachusetts General Hospital’s Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology aims to expand access to the department’s maternal fetal medicine (MFM) specialists with specialized “virtual visits” for patients with complicated pregnancies. The program, which launched in late 2016, is led by MFM specialist Sarah Bernstein, MD.
“Virtual visits are an incredibly convenient way to access care at Mass General,” says Dr. Bernstein. “Patients receive the same care we offer during in-person consultations from the comfort of their home or office.”
MFM virtual visit consultations are available to women with complex pregnancies due to underlying medical conditions, the impact of current medications on pregnancy or concerns related to previous obstetric complications. Any patient who does not need services that must be conducted onsite, such as lab work or ultrasounds, is eligible for an MFM virtual visit.
Virtual visits are available to qualifying patients both before they’ve conceived and during pregnancy to help answer a variety of questions around pregnancy. After the consultation, MFM specialists can help make recommendations for care, either by working with the patient’s current provider or by recommending a move to Mass General for care.
MFM virtual visits are offered through Mass General’s TeleHealth program, which provides patients the same quality Mass General care in the office from the comfort of their home or any other private location. (Patients must be physically present in the state of Massachusetts when the virtual visit is conducted, but they need not be residents of Massachusetts).
Virtual visits allow patients to connect directly with physicians using a secure video chat on their own computer or tablet, providing the flexibility to speak with a specialist at a time and place that is convenient to the patient without the need to travel for care.
In addition to their convenience, virtual visits offer an affordable consultation option. Some insurance providers in Massachusetts do currently cover the cost of virtual visits (you will be charged your usual copay or deductible), and for patients who do not have this coverage, the fee for the service is only $25.
Visit the TeleHealth patient page to learn more about the fees and technical requirements for virtual visits.
Before scheduling an MFM virtual visit, patients must be registered with the Partners HealthCare Network. If you have not previously seen a doctor at Mass General or another Partners hospital, you can register by calling the Registration & Referral Center at 866-211-6588 to receive a Partners medical registration number (MRN). Depending on your insurance, you may also need to obtain a referral—it’s best to check with your insurance provider to determine whether a referral is necessary. Scheduling the virtual visit is easy—simply make sure to have your Partners MRN available and call Mass General’s Obstetrics Program at 617-724-2229 to request an MFM virtual visit.
To learn more about the TeleHealth Virtual Visits program at Mass General, visit the Mass General TeleHealth website or read the TeleHealth Frequently Asked Questions.
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